Beau Robinson's Travel Journal
I was very honored to be asked to write a travel journal for LA Milesplit, especially after I saw the other athletes who have written them before. This cross country season, I came in with high hopes after a disappointing injury during the spring track season which put me out for four weeks. I am finally able to push myself and trust my body without worrying about pain. We went into the hardest span of the Cross Country season these past few weeks, where our team ran five meets in a two week period.
The first race was at South Terrebonne. The conditions were about as good as it gets. It was sunny and warm and the course was dry. The course was also flat, which made it easy on my legs. Bryce and I led the race from the half mile mark, and never looked back as we finished in 15:27 and 15:57. I knew we had the Catholic High meet in 3 days, so I didn’t want to push it too hard. Our team finished first in the team standings.
Our second meet was the Catholic High Invitational at Highland Park. We ran this race last year, and other than the state meets, it was our first taste of a big meet, as well as our first time at Highland. I don’t think we did too bad last year considering we came out 4th and 8th, and it was the race that “put us on the map”. This year, I wanted to go out there and run my race, but the combination of races and tough workouts started causing shin splints in my right leg. This was the first time I ever really had shin splints, so I wore a sleeve in the hopes of making it bearable during the race. Bryce has a tendency of taking off super-fast, and I tried to keep up with him and Zach Albright as long as I could, but once I heard them call out 4:45 at the one mile split, they started pulling away. They were running a tough pace to keep up with and I started to drift back slightly. I stayed pretty close to Eric Coston most of the race, but towards the last mile, he began to pull away. Bryce finished right behind Zach, and once again, I finished fourth at Highland.
My third race of this time span was the Houma Christian meet. A few of my teammates and I were still a little sore from The Catholic High Invitational three days before, so we weren’t too excited to run this race. During warm-ups, we could see dark clouds over the horizon, and right after the first mile of the girls’ race, the rain started coming down hard. The temperature also dropped some, so we were all freezing. At the beginning of our race, there is about only about 20 yards before the first 90-degree turn, and it didn’t look like everyone would fit too well. To no surprise, someone from our team ended up on the ground and the race was called back and started over, but this time, they decided to move the start back about 50 yards. My brother and I planned to take this race easy, run together, and run times that were just good enough to win the race. The course was muddy and on the first mile, Bryce lost his footing, and face planted into a puddle. The ground was soft and uneven throughout the whole race, and we stayed together for about two miles, but Bryce couldn’t stand it anymore and started pulling away from me. We coasted into first and second place, and after the race, my dad had make-shift ice baths in the back of his truck. So along with the rain and the mud, we got ice baths, also.
Our fourth race of this two week gauntlet was the Walker Invitational. We were looking forward to fast times on a dry, beautiful course, but found out Friday night that it was going to be pouring in Walker in the morning. We did not know the degree of rain that the course received until we got there. As soon as our team got off the bus, we stepped straight into puddles and from that point on, we knew it would be a tough course to run. We did not bring a cover, so the entire team had to duck into a baseball field dugout to try and stay out of the rain. By race time, the rain had stopped and the clouds had lifted a little, but we still had to walk through many puddles to reach the starting line. When the gun went off, and I took my first step, I slipped, and was elbowed in my nose. Luckily, I was able to catch myself from falling so the race would not have to be restarted. I had to fight to get back towards the front and there was a tight pack for the first mile. The mud began to make my legs feel like I had concrete shoes and I began to fall back. After that, I fell back from Zach, Eric, and Bryce, and it wasn’t long before Zach was pulling away from everyone. I think that Zach is just so strong, that he was able to power through the muck better than the rest of us. I was later passed by Devyn Keith from John Curtis to finish 5th.
Our last race before a well-deserved two week break was the South Lafourche relays. The conditions were about as good as it gets, and we were really looking forward to ending the five race push on a high note. During the girls race, they had to restart the race three times for falls. When it was time for our race to start, we had to wait about 10 minutes because someone had parked their car right in front of the starting line during the girls race! Once the gun was fired, we had a clean start and Bryce and I never looked back. The course was a little short at 2.75 miles, and Bryce finished in 14:12. I wasn’t too far behind, but it is so hard staying motivated to run hard at small meets like we run most of the regular season, as the third place runner is usually a minute or more behind me. Our team once again took first place.
So now we have 14 days without a meet, and we have a tune up at Central Lafourche the week before our district meet. If our team wins, it will be our third in a row, and if I win overall, it will be my third in a row. I know it will be tough, but sometimes you have to look at the big picture, and I would rather have my brother win the individual title than and concentrate on running a good pace with the state meet looming just days away.
I am starting to realize that the “lasts” are starting…. The Catholic High Invitational was my last meet at Highland, my last district meet is coming up, and my last state meet follows right after that. Track season will be here and gone before I know it, and then it will be time to start a whole new set of firsts!